I didn’t come to wrestling as a lot of fans did. You hear the stories of lifelong fans who started watching in the bigger eras. Or you listen to stories about how they watched it when they were young. But I got into wrestling as an adult because my friends were all into it. I never got the appeal from the outside but then I saw it. I saw a community full of the most authentic misfits and weirdos around who cheered for their heroes as they got into the ring. Monster Factory on Apple TV+ is the story of those heroes who were just misfits and weirdos like all of us. It’s a show that wears its whole heart on the sleeve with style and the heart of a fighter.
If video reviews are more your thing, check out Dan’s video review here.
Monster Factory follows a wrestling gym of the same name. Coach Danny Cage helps his group of wrestlers prepare for whatever future awaits them in the wrestling world. Each episode focuses on a few of the different wrestlers currently training at The Monster Factory. Each brings their own unique background and reason for being there. They are preparing for their biggest showcase ever at Philadelphia’s historic 2300 Club and whatever opportunities that could come from that.
The show starts with a statement from Danny Cage in which he says “Professional wrestling is like the Breakfast Club, it’s an eclectic melting pot of misfits” which sets the tone for the entire show. This show isn’t about people like the Rock or anyone like that. It’s about people fighting for their dream. It’s a group of people who are doing everything to chase what they believe they can do. These are real stories of real people told with the utmost authenticity. There are so many moments in this show where you are going to feel every emotion on the spectrum.
Coach Danny Cage brings us inside everything. His life, his family, and his coaching style. Danny is as South Jersey as they come. The man has a heart of gold which is also at the heart of this show. He loves every one of his students as if they are his own children and makes sacrifices to ensure they can still chase their dreams. But Danny is also very forward and won’t sugar coat anything. He is honest and to the point with everything. Some describe him as abrasive because of how forward he can be. I got the chance to interview Danny but more importantly, I got the chance to go to The Monster Factory and watch up close. Watching Danny talking to his students made it all click with just how real this show was.
Every episode focuses on a group of wrestlers from The Monster Factory. We see different stories of people trying to become professional wrestlers. I do not want to go into their stories in this review because I want you to experience them for yourself. I only want to touch on one of the stories because it got to me personally. Bobby Buffet is one of the main wrestlers the show focuses on. What’s hit me here is that he’s a big guy. It was really nice getting to see someone who wasn’t thin out there chasing his dream and living authentically.
This show doesn’t make wrestling out to be a joke in any way shape or form. It’s a series that shows you how much work these athletes put in to become wrestlers. Its visual style captures a very DIY aesthetic that comes with indie wrestling. Monster Factory teaches you what goes into wrestling without ever discounting it for being “fake”. Danny talks about how it isn’t about that aspect but it’s about the stories you can tell through wrestling that brings people into the ring. There are great segments that explain wrestling terms and phrases so people who don’t know wrestling can truly understand the appeal by the end of the 6 episode series.
Monster Factory reminded me why I love wrestling so much. It was a reminder that it’s a place where weirdos and outcasts can find their voice and soar. That’s all I want in the world. With an incredible 6 episode series, Monster Factory is a must-watch for anyone who has ever felt like they weren’t enough or didn’t have a place where they fit in.